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Live Chat & Chatbots in Banking

Anna S.
16 Feb 2022
Live Chat in Banking

Can you imagine your life without online and mobile banking? However, the time when you had to visit a bank in person for each operation or inquiry is not too far behind. Luckily, today we can do most of the common banking transactions online – balance a credit card, pay our bills and taxes, do business accounting, just to name a few. It no longer matters what time or day of the week it is – digital banking is there for you 24/7.

However, any customer-facing service, banking included, needs to provide support. With the number of online banking users worldwide exceeding 2 billion, the workload on customer support teams is often significant.

To give customers sufficient flexibility and convenience, support teams use multiple communication channels – telephone, email, messenger applications, and live chat and chatbots. The latter two are getting increasingly popular bringing multiple benefits to both banking institutions and their customers.

How does the banking industry use chatbots and live chats?

If you think about it, live chat and chatbots are the online equivalent of telephone calls with human operators and answering machines with their “For card balance, press one…” They are both conversational interfaces, with the main difference being that live chats are handled by a human agent and chatbots are software of various levels of sophistication. Live chat is intended for real human-to-human communication, while chatbots only mimic such conversations.

The banking industry uses both types of conversational interfaces, however, the main purpose and the experience that each of them create are different. A chatbot for banks is intended to enable self-service (which 69% of customers prefer over communicating with a company representative), while live chat is a channel where the customer can ask for assistance.

Chatbots in banking

In the banking industry, chatbots are an extension of both banking service apps and customer support. In a chatbot, customers can perform lots of banking operations and transactions in an intuitive conversational format, as opposed to the banking app or website, where they need a certain time to get onboarded.

For example, customers can use a banking chatbot in the following situations:

  • Check account balances
  • Make payments
  • Set up recurring payments
  • Adjust credit card limits
  • Get accounts statements
  • Apply for new cards and open new bank accounts
  • Apply for loans and mortgages
  • Manage accounts and passwords

Chatbots are available 24/7 making banking transactions and inquiries possible at any time that is convenient for the customer. Between chatbots, banking apps, and online banking, the cases when the customer needs to visit the bank in person become truly rare.

In addition, banking chatbots can act as virtual assistants on the first line of customer support. A chatbot integrated into the bank’s live chat can do the initial screening of customers before the actual human interaction. With a set of simple questions intended to determine the reason for the customer contacting the support, they can be assigned to the support agent who specializes in such issues.

Live chat in banking

Live chat is another channel of communication where banking customers can ask questions and seek assistance on various issues. Live chat, as opposed to a chatbot, is handled by human operators. However, as we mentioned already, a live chat can start with a couple of automated questions, which help to identify the customer’s problem.

If the customer’s issue belongs to a set of frequently asked questions, the chatbot can supply a corresponding knowledge base article or redirect the customer to the appropriate page. If the issue is more complex or the customer chooses to connect to an agent, the chat is further handled by a support team representative.

Why do customers often prefer live chat to other forms of communication? The reasons are many:

  • Live chat for banking saves time. It has the shortest response time of just 2 minutes, which increases customer satisfaction significantly.
  • Live chat allows multitasking. While the customer waits for the agent to join the chat, find the required information, or type the answer, they can continue doing other things. In telephone communication, such multitasking is hardly possible.
  • Live chat increases customer confidence. Some people are not speakers of the language and do not trust voice conversations enough. Some have hearing or speech impairments. Some are just introverted and prefer typing over talking. For all these people, live chat becomes an optimal solution creating a great customer experience.
  • Live chat conversations can be saved. Banking is an industry where details matter a lot. When the customer is getting professional advice from a consultant, it’s better to have it in writing for further reference. Live chats can be saved and forwarded to banking customers’ emails, which is not possible in voice communication.

How to enhance your financial service with conversational banking?

If you already have a functioning financial application or are planning to build one, consider integrating live chat as another method of customer communication. To make the most of the conversational interface in your banking app, think of the following features:

  • Private and group chats. Depending on the nature of the conversation, it can be either a one-on-one conversation between a customer and an agent or a group chat session where a specific subject-matter expert is invited.
  • Presence and typing indicators. For a customer, it is important to know that their case is being looked at and that the response is on the way. People prefer live chat for its speed, and presence indicators in the chat window help to create the corresponding experiences.
  • File sharing. In the banking industry, proper documentation is of major importance, therefore, a banking chat feature that allows sharing and exchanging documents and other files is in the must-have league.

As a separate point, let’s mention security. It goes without saying that where money is handled, you cannot over-do on security. Any customer communication in a banking app must be protected against external attacks and identity thefts.

To implement all these features and ensure the maximum security of a banking live chat, the best way is to use a ready-made chat software solution that already includes everything that is needed from a banking communication tool.

You can check out the QuickBlox communication solution specially designed for use in the finance and banking industry, so that you can create online banking chat. It includes all the required features and implements the necessary security mechanisms. QuickBlox communication tools can be easily integrated into your app by using the appropriate SDK or API. This way, you will get a working live chat in your banking app within minimum time and almost no coding.

If you would like to know more about how you can implement live chat using QuickBlox solutions, visit our website where you can find APIs, SDKs, and the corresponding code samples. And, of course, contact us if you have any questions or would like to discuss a specific implementation of the QuickBox solution in a banking app.

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